Children and young people focus on fake news and developing critical thinking skills
Zagreb, 3 May 2019 – Over 13,000 children and young people from the whole of Croatia took part in the Second Media Literacy Days organised by the Agency for Electronic Media and UNICEF with the help of many partners. Across Croatia, 273 events were held in 90 towns and locations aiming to develop critical thinking skills, tolerance, self-respect and respect of others in the media. The Second Media Literacy Days presented innovative approaches that YouTubers and influencers on social media can draw on to use their growing influence to raise awareness in children and young people of the importance of understanding media.
As part of the “Children learn about media” programme, almost 1,000 elementary and secondary school pupils had the opportunity to visit media outlets in Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek, Zadar and Pula, where they learned about the process of creating news and how media outlets work. In the workshops led by editors and reporters, pupils could choose different topics and create news and develop their media literacy through personal experience and practical work.
Robert Tomljenović, Deputy Director the Council for Electronic Media, stated that “it is important to empower citizens by teaching them media literacy skills so they can navigate through the dangers and enjoy the advantages of living in an increasingly complex media environment. Developing media literacy requires long-term investment, as well as a systematic and strategic approach at the national level. The results of this year’s Media Literacy Days and the great interest of numerous stakeholders in different kinds of events, as well as the need they expressed for educational materials, show that the further strengthening of media literacy skills is very much needed. The number of participants and excellent cross-sectoral cooperation confirms that there is great will and that social understanding of this need also exists, which is a stimulus to further develop the project and raise cooperation to a higher, more elaborate level”.
During the Media Literacy Days, educational materials created for children in kindergartens and schools and their parents were downloaded 25,000 times from the medijskapismenost.hr website.
“We are pleased with the interest of great numbers of educators and teachers in the educational materials for children, young people and parents created as part of the Media Literacy Days. This tells us that society is showing more understanding of the importance of media literacy and of the need for additional efforts to support children, young people and adults in developing critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate the waves of media content we are exposed to daily”, said Đurđica Ivković, Deputy Head of the UNICEF Office for Croatia, who invited parents and educators to visit the medijskapismenost.hr website.
The Media Literacy Days were sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Science and Education.